Frequently asked questions: general compensation for damages for former employees

1. How can I determine if, under this agreement, I am a current or former employee?

The agreement came into effect on June 12, 2019. It covers the period between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020.

You are deemed a former employee if you worked in one of the organizations and positions covered by the agreement and left the public service between April 1, 2016 and June 11, 2019,

To determine if you are eligible to a payment equivalent to additional leave, you must:

  • have been employed in one of the organizations in the core public administration or a separate agency covered by the agreement; and
  • for any fiscal year, have been on strength for one day for that fiscal year, in a term of more than 3 months or an indeterminate position covered by the agreement whether or not they were on paid/unpaid leave, assignment or otherwise not active. This also includes acting appointments; and
  • have resigned, been terminated, retired or died (in the case of the estates of deceased employees) between April 1, 2016 and June 11, 2019.

If you were employed on June 12, 2019 in one of the organizations and positions covered by the agreement, you are deemed a current employee. You should have already received additional leave credits from the organization where you were employed on that date. Contact your HR specialist if this is not the case.

Did you receive additional leave during 2019 but left public service after that? If you became a former public servant between June12, 2019 and March 31, 2020, you could be entitled to the cash payment equivalent to the one extra day of leave allocated for fiscal year 2019‑20.

2. Do I have to have had a Phoenix pay issue to claim a payment equivalent to additional leave?

No. This compensation agreement was designed to recognize that current and former employees have been impacted, directly or indirectly, by the implementation of Phoenix, and may have experienced financial and/or non-financial damages.

3. If I have an outstanding overpayment, will this payment be recovered?

The Government of Canada has the authority to recover an overpayment of salary or wages made to a person from any money payable by the government to that person. The payments provided under the agreements are meant to compensate current and former employees for damages caused by the Phoenix pay system. A person’s individual circumstances, however, may permit the recovery of sums from damages payments. For example, some employees who have or had an overpayment repayment plan in place could have amounts recovered from their damages payments. Additionally, in the case of former employees or the estates of deceased employees, recovery of sums are generally made from first available funds which could therefore include damages payments.

Employees faced with an overpayment situation can contact their organization to inquire if flexible arrangements can be made with respect to their damages payments.

4. Why can I only file a claim once for any given year?

The agreement was designed this way to simplify the process. Since you may file a claim only once for each of the years for which you are eligible to receive general compensation for damages, it’s best to wait until any outstanding pay increases have been processed in Phoenix. That way, you will get the maximum amount to which you are entitled. 

5. Is there a deadline to file a claim?

No. However, we strongly encourage you to submit your claim once all related pay issues that affect your pay rate in the Phoenix pay system have been resolved.

6. How long will my claim take to process?

Our service standard is to process 80% of claims within 30 days. It’s important to note that complex claims will take longer to process. We will review each claim carefully to ensure we are paying the correct amount.

After your claim has been processed, you will receive correspondence detailing:

  • the amount of the payment
  • the pay rate used to calculate the payment
  • the years to which you are eligible for general compensation for damages
  • the source deductions

We will also explain what to do and who to contact if you disagree with the amount of the payment.

7. Is the payment equivalent to additional leave taxable?

Yes, it’s taxable as employment income. The amount will be reported on a T4 (and Relevé 1, if you worked in Quebec) in the year the payment is received and will be subject to source deductions such as income tax, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan if applicable.

8. If I disagree with the amount of the payment, what do I do?

Once your claim is processed, you will receive a breakdown of how it was calculated along with instructions about how to contact us if you disagree with it.

If, after communicating with the Claims Office, you still disagree with the amount of the payment and the explanation for it, you may contact your bargaining agent to discuss the options available to you.

Decisions regarding claims will constitute final level grievance decisions. You may be able to refer your grievance to adjudication or file an application for judicial review in the Federal Court depending on your circumstances.

9. If I filed a grievance prior to the agreement coming into effect, do I need to submit a new grievance?

No, you will need to submit a detailed claim to the Claims Office explaining what damages are requested. You should discuss the situation with your bargaining agent to ensure that your claim is in line with the clauses of the agreement. 

10. How will existing individual grievances related to Phoenix be impacted by this agreement?

Grievances related to Phoenix submitted before June 12, 2019 and which have not been resolved, and grievances filed on or after that date will be processed according to the terms of the agreement.

11. Can I make this claim if I am part of the Bouchard class action lawsuit?

No. The agreement does not apply to members of the class action as certified in Bouchard c. Procureur Général du Canada (200-06-000214-174) and any other member of the class that could be added by the courts, including students, casual employees, workers working no more than one third of regular hours and employees with terms of less than 3 months.

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